The Promise Ring
Milwaukee, WI [1995–2002, 2005, 2011–2012]
Dan Didier - Drums
Davey von Bohlen - Guitar/Vocals
Jason Gnewikow - Guitar
Scott Shoenback - Bass
The year was 1995, and there was a battle of the bands brewing somewhere between the Wisconsin and Illinois state lines. In the middle of it all was Davey vonBohlen - forced to choose between his guitar stint for future punk heroes Cap'n Jazz and his status as the frontman for a burgeoning, though wholly unestablished The Promise Ring. As history would have it, the answer was obvious: The Promise Ring were toast.
Of course, final hurrahs were sometimes meant to be, and since The Promise Ring had yet to see theirs, Davey agreed to a final nine-day trek across the country with his dearly departed side project. When the band landed back home in Milwaukee, vonBohlen unpacked his gear and expressed a deep sigh of relief. And then he quit Cap'n Jazz.
Such is the inception of a band who have outlived almost all of their peers, while surviving horrid van wrecks, personal medical emergencies, and the rise and fall of a genre they somehow managed to inspire without ever really figuring out what it was in the first place. After signing with Jade Tree in 1996, The Promise Ring went on to release a slew of EPs and full-length albums that have seen accolades everywhere from the well-respected pages of The New York Times to the uber-groovy Teen People. But don't let that fool you: The real acclaim is in the captured hearts of a fanbase that have kept this Milwaukee unit up-and-running for the more-than-six-years after that fateful "final" tour.
After many happy years together and 8 releases, The Promise Ring departed Jade Tree for the Anti- label, a division of Epitaph, in October 2001.